In this week’s edition of Things I Wish I Knew, New York divorce lawyer Joleena Louis shares her top tips on getting referrals from previous clients.
As solo’s, we spend a lot of time focused on bringing in new clients, but we often overlook the clients we have right now as a source of new business. Your marketing strategy is incomplete if you don’t have a plan for getting new work from your past or current clients who know and love you.
Ask For Referrals
I previously talked about my most effective tactic for getting new referrals – the best way to get referrals is by simply asking for them. A few times a year I send out an email straight up asking current and past clients for referrals. It works! Every time I send out this email I end up with two or three new clients.
Asking for referrals is what successful solos do because they don’t allow fear to stop them from going after what they want. My recommendation would be to test it out, see what happens and ask for feedback.
Take a chance and ask for referrals. You never know how it will turn out.
Stay Top Of Mind
Once the work you were hired for is over, it does not necessarily mean your relationship with the client is over.
In order to stay top of mind, I send a yearly “divorce anniversary” cards to former clients. In this card, I ask if the judgment is being followed and I’m here if they need any additional services. I’d say I get a call about 20% of the time, which is worth the minimal effort it takes to do this.
I send a very simple card with a handwritten note. When I get a signed judgment of divorce, I add the date to a spreadsheet. Each month my virtual assistant will send out the cards.
This can easily be tailored to any practice area. You can send cards on an unconventional holiday or just random hello card to a certain number of clients each month. The occasion for sending the card doesn’t really matter, reminding your previous clients that you’re still there is what is most important.
Use Referrals As Currency
I urge my current and past clients to come to me with ALL of their legal needs. Even if it’s an area of law that I do not practice, I can refer them to other attorneys who will, in turn, refer clients to me. Referrals are currency, use them effectively.
Happy clients can be your biggest cheerleaders. They already like you and know what you can do. This can lead to them returning to you for more work on their case, them referring their friends and family to you, or them coming to you when they need another type of attorney or professional. All of these things can lead to more money in your pocket.